New models - Ford - Mondeo
Ford has wagons covered
Mondeo and Falcon wagons give Ford blanket coverage of wagon market
17 Aug 2009
FORD says it has all wagon bases covered with the new Mondeo, since it will support rather than steal sales from the larger and older BF Series III Falcon range.
Speaking at the MB Mondeo series launch in Melbourne last week, Ford Australia vice president for sales and marketing Beth Donovan denied claims that the new Mondeo wagon would kill off the Falcon wagon.
She revealed that the Belgian-built front-wheel-drive European wagon would lure a different demographic to the fleet-focussed rear-wheel-drive Falcon, with the private buyer looming large.
And while gaining a strong fleet market foothold is also a large part of the Mondeo wagon’s job description, it is likely to be that of the user-chooser variety that might otherwise pick something like a Subaru Liberty wagon, Mrs Donovan explained, rather than the workhorse company car role that the Falcon wagon has traditionally played.
“The Falcon wagon has long been priced as a non-private vehicle,” she said.
“We have done really well with it as a fleet car, and in some ways it is almost purpose-built (for fleets), so we really do not sell a lot to private buyers.
Left: Ford Mondeo Wagon. Below: Ford Falcon Wagon.
“And we really think the Mondeo and Falcon are the ‘word and music’ as far as wagons go if you really think about it, because you’ve got an opportunity with private buyers with the Mondeo wagon … while Falcon wagon is a nice complement to that because you will have all the business users that we have today.
“Clearly though, the Holden Sportswagon is what we have targeted with the Mondeo wagon.
“We’re leaving Falcon wagon as it is, as a one-model range.
“And it is a very good business for us. Every single one of those we build is already sold before it leaves the Broadmeadows plant.
“So, again, it’s been a great tool of trade for a while, but it is something that fortunately many customers have said is the best product for what is needed.
“I want to be really clear about the fact that we are not really calling for any sales substitution between Mondeo wagon and Falcon wagon, regardless of which version it is.”
Ford will have more chances to further distance the Mondeo wagon from Falcon wagon at the end of the year with the introduction of the TDCi turbo-diesel version.
A Ford insider told GoAuto that production capacity shortfalls at the Belgian factory had been responsible for the diesel wagon delay.
“But we didn’t want to wait for it to be ready, and decided instead to go with what we have with the petrol wagon.
“As you know we’ve been very good at selling the Mondeo diesel hatch, and I think you will find it’s the same when the diesel wagon gets here. It appeals to a very different customer than the petrol cars do.”
Meanwhile, whether an XR5 Turbo version of the Mondeo wagon arrives in Australia depends on the success of the new body style, but Ford says that it is “not ruling anything out just yet.”
Finally, Mrs Donovan refused to confirm or deny the existence of an FG Falcon-derived wagon.
“That is a discussion for a different day. We’re here to talk about the new Mondeo,” she said.
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